GPS in ten years

GPS in ten years

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  • Abstract:
    What will GPS look like in ten years? This paper discusses improvements to the overall GPS system planned over the next ten years and examines their impact on system performance for several applications. The Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) released in March 1996 states that Selective Availability (SA) will be turned off within ten years. Efforts have been ongoing over the past year to place a second civilian frequency on the Block IIF satellites. In addition, a program known as the GPS Modernization Effort, or GPS-III, is underway to identify additional enhancements to GPS for the future. Finally, the Air Force is in the process of upgrading the Control Segment, which includes the Accuracy Improvement Initiative (AII). These enhancements to GPS, combined with improved user equipment expected to be developed over the next ten years, will significantly improve the accuracy, integrity, and availability of the system. For example, removal of SA not only improves the GPS positioning accuracy, but will allow a significant increase in the availability performance of integrity monitoring algorithms such as Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM) and Fault Detection and Exclusion (FDE). Upgrades to the Control Segment also will improve the overall integrity of the GPS system. Will these improvement make GPS good enough in ten years time to be a "stand-alone" Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)? For many applications, the answer to this question is a definite "yes". For other more demanding applications, GPS will still need augmentations, but this paper shows these augmentations can be much simpler and less costly than often envisioned.
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